Jump to content

Menu

Need a mutli-age guided curriculum for next year, ideas?


Recommended Posts

Background: We have homeschooled from the beginning. Next year, my kids will be in 5th, 3rd, and 1st. I will also have a 4yo and young 3yo. 

 

In the past I have sort of pieced our curriculum together: Math Mammoth, FLL, WWE 1-3, CAP W&R, AAS,  MOH, SOTW, Latin, and Science (not very consistent). And I have a list of books based on age/grade that the kids work through. 

 

Most of those are open and go, but I still spend a bit of time, finding read alouds, additional books that go along with our history, and science, etc. Next year, I will be taking some college courses myself and life is going to get busier. I feel like I need something that is all laid out and something that will be a little more independent for my oldest. Ideally, it would be so clear, that DH could pick it up and teach if need be.

 

So, any suggestions? 

 

ETA: We will finish up our first 4yr rotation this year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moving Beyond the Page.

 

It didn't look very easy to combine three kids with this. And I'd like to stick with some sort of history rotation. Thank you for the recommendation, though!

My Father's World... You could start with either Exploring Countries & Cultures or Creation to the Greekshttp://www.mfwbooks.com/category/M50/40

 

We did MFW K and I found the worksheets very repetitious. Is it different in the older years? 

I do like the look of the programs. Have you done both? Which do you like better? Which would be better for adding in the 3rd and 1st grader?

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

We did MFW K and I found the worksheets very repetitious. Is it different in the older years? 

I do like the look of the programs. Have you done both? Which do you like better? Which would be better for adding in the 3rd and 1st grader?

Thanks!

 

I've not done Moving Beyond the Page.  I've been doing mostly MFW since 2004, worked in the convention booth for our area for two years, attended Vision Weekend in 2009, and listened to numerous of their workshops on CD... so I know MFW pretty well and obviously prefer it. :)

 

MFW K and 1st are targeted to children in the learn-to-read stage and therefore include phonics and very beginning LA skills, so yes, those two years are very different than all the rest.  When your oldest child hits 2nd grade, MFW recommends combining all of them in the content subjects from that point on.  Since every child always does math and LA at their own level anyway, no one is left out on the skill-building side of it.  Marie has suggestions in the parent/teacher notes in the TMs for how to go about doing this, and of course there's always the forums where you can ask questions, read through the archives, etc.  There's also conference CDs available (some of their titles are getting hard to find, though), one of which is called "How to Teach an Effective Unit Study without Getting Bogged Down", and there's another about "Multilevel Teaching at the Elementary Level".  These two are fresh in my mind because I just re-listened to them again this week.  Oh, and another one called "Help! My Homeschool is Chaos!" :001_rolleyes:

 

Anyway, you can either use their recommendations for math and language arts, or choose whatever you like.  But the weekly lesson plans do include narrations (both written and oral), copywork, memory work, dictation, vocab, notebooking, and sometimes other writing assignments, as well as your "main" English program, whatever that is.  MOST students will do most or all of these assignments.  Your 3rd and 1st graders will not do ALL of that, but they may do SOME of it, depending on what it is, their maturity level, their listening skills, handwriting skills, etc. 

 

So let's say you choose to do Creation to the Greeks.  The whole family will participate in the Bible readings, and depending on the reading level and maturity of your oldest, he might do the Bible readings labeled "Advanced", or he might not.  Everyone will (or should) participate in some of the Bible assignments like memorizing the 10 Commandments (can be done orally or written), memorizing the OT books of the Bible, playing some of the hands-on games to help with retention such as the frogs invading your house when you study the 10 plagues of Egypt. :lol:   Book Basket (in back of the manual) has a LOT of options for all ages, from preschool-adult, and sometimes video recommendations, too. 

 

Science is hands-on, so everyone can participate in that, too.  Oldest child will do more detailed lab sheets and read more books, maybe even narrate or do some notebooking pages or write some reports that you can assign him (or her) that your younger children won't do.  Same with nature study. 

 

I would NOT worry about whether Streams of Civilization (scheduled in CTG) is over their heads.  First of all, the whole book isn't assigned; just certain passages.  But if your 10yo is advanced and wants to know more details or more history about a particular topic, he certainly CAN read more than just the assigned passage from Streams.  But generally speaking, it's intended for Mom to either read TO the children, or read ahead and summarize it FOR the children... IOW, Streams is used kind of like an encyclopedia in both CTG and RTR. 

 

But then you also have "easy" books like The Trojan Horse, which is a Step 5 easy reader.  Plus the wide variety of titles in Book Basket. 

 

I would start a thin 3-ring binder for even the preschoolers if they want to feel like they're "doing school", too.  They can do coloring pages, color some maps, you can get stickers for them, they can have a copy of some of the notebooking pages which include information such as the books of the Bible... they won't stick around for most of your lessons, of course, but there's certainly enough for them to feel like they're part of the family learning activities, too... IF they want to.  Younger kids tend to have short attention spans, as I'm sure you know. ;)  I would have a separate, special box for them to have some educational games and toys that are JUST for "school time", for those moments when they're bored with what the older kids are doing.  You could also consider one of the MFW preschool packages, which also come with instructions and ideas for how to use those "toys".

 

David Hazell talks about using a white board which he hangs in a prominent location for all to see.  It has each child's name on it, and all the individual subjects or other assignments underneath each child's name.  So it might be independent school subjects, certain chores that must be done before they can play, AND it would even include a younger sibling's name under the older kids' names.  So for example, 10yo Johnny has to spend some 1-on-1 time with 4yo Mickey while Mom is explaining a math concept to 8yo Susie; therefore, Mickey's name appears on the white board under Johnny's name. 

 

Anyway, hopefully that gives you an idea of how to adapt MFW for multiple ages, how to "beef up" for an older or advanced child, and how to include even a 4yo and 3yo sometimes.  Your 3rd grader will fall somewhere in between all of that.... very likely able to do MOST of what the 10yo does, but not all.  Your 1st grader is likely still learning to read?  Just keep him/her in whatever phonics program is working, until he's able and ready to do more of the reading and writing that his older siblings are doing.  He can still listen to most of the readings, though, and I would encourage him to read as much as possible either from books in MFW, or separate readers at his own level.  (MFW does have a list of readers and chapter books in the back of the manual, behind Book Basket, which are completely unrelated to history or science... just pure classics like Frog and Toad and Pollyanna.) 

 

Does that help?  Ask away if you're confused by something I've said, or have other questions. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've not done Moving Beyond the Page.  I've been doing mostly MFW since 2004, worked in the convention booth for our area for two years, attended Vision Weekend in 2009, and listened to numerous of their workshops on CD... so I know MFW pretty well and obviously prefer it. :)

 

Sniped

 

 

Does that help?  Ask away if you're confused by something I've said, or have other questions. :)

 

Donna, that was very helpful, thank you! Did you prefer ECC to CTG?

 

When we did MFW K it felt like the worksheets were the exact same every week, just to be used for the different topics. Are the worksheets the same every week or do they change? Do the activities change? (Is that making any sense :) )

 

Would you recommend buying the student sheets for my 1st grader as well (he is as you said, still working on learning to read)?

 

Does the Science feel like enough? It looks a little light, but it's hard to tell.

 

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might look at Trail Guides to Learning.  Very clearly laid out, covers all subjects (including literature, spelling, grammar, science, history, reading, geography, art and music, etc., etc.) except math and can be used with multiple ages/levels at the same time.  The various subjects are interwoven into the larger tapestry.  This is not a "boxed" curriculum in the traditional sense by any means.   It is really quite a beautifully done program.  And practically everything you need comes in one big box so you don't have to shop for hardly anything.  I did try piecing together my own resources for cheaper and when I added up what I would be paying for used items I had to gather separately, I found that the bundled set, brand new, was cheaper and a whole lot easier.  

 

We are not currently using it, however.  Sadly, it didn't work well for mine because we were doing so much remediation for dyslexia/dysgraphia, I was having to modify it too much.   I honestly loved it, though.  There is a really great support group on Yahoo, too.

 

http://www.home-school-curriculum.com/learning_series/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Donna, that was very helpful, thank you! Did you prefer ECC to CTG?

 

When we did MFW K it felt like the worksheets were the exact same every week, just to be used for the different topics. Are the worksheets the same every week or do they change? Do the activities change? (Is that making any sense :) )

 

Would you recommend buying the student sheets for my 1st grader as well (he is as you said, still working on learning to read)?

 

Does the Science feel like enough? It looks a little light, but it's hard to tell.

 

Thanks!

 

ECC and CTG are very different, so there are things in each of them I love.  One is based on space (each unit is comprised of a different geographical location around the world, its main culture group, language, religion, animals, weather and land climate), and the other is based on time (following major events and key people chronologically, etc. which you know as you've already a few years of chronological history).  ECC does have worksheets for the older kids as they use Exploring World Geography in researching more details about each country, but again, that's only the older kids -- so perhaps your 5th grader -- but I suppose you could skip those worksheets if your child would prefer to do some sort of "project" representing what he's learned about each country.  Notebooking pages, illustrations, something on poster board, a Power Point presentation, a tri-fold display board.... Anything would work!  You could use the worksheets in that book as a guide for what to research, but then he could do his own thing for the presentation.  There will be recipes, crafts, and other things to do that could part of that... just depends how much time and energy y'all have. 

 

A country is a country is a country, so there's some repetitiveness in that regard.  But since each country and people group is unique, and there are many different things you can do in learning about each one, there's variety, too.  Yes, some change depending on 'where' you are in the world, and some don't.  For example, there's a cooking activity for each country, so do you consider that a "repetitive" activity?  I guess it is since you're cooking something every time, but... the kinds of foods you're preparing are unique to each country.  However, as you study different missionaries that have gone around the world and what they do, those activities would be quite varied.  One missionary does Bible translation work, one does missionary flights, and another works in orphanages. 

 

Marie picked just a *few* countries from each continent to study as there are nearly 200 countries around the world and only so much time (and interest), but at the end of ECC, there's additional "blank" time on the schedule for you to research any other countries that you desire.  Israel is a major country to study, but is not studied in ECC because it's covered in detail the following year in CTG. 

 

I would suggest you consider a few things before deciding:

 

1. What are your goals for your oldest before high school?  How important is it that he complete a second full, 4-year history cycle, knowing that he'll get a full cycle again in high school?  *Is* he going to do a 4-year history in high school, or is he going to do a year of geography at that level and then just do surveys of history (which is what the public schools often do)?   (Note: If you use MFW for high school, a half-credit of geography is included over the course of the four years, in addition to the four years of history.) 

 

2. Do your children have much exposure to the concept of missions, other people around the world in context of the way they live today, and what their religions and lifestyles are?  How about Bible translation and other types of missions from which they themselves might be called to one day?  How well do they know world geography, the oceans, the kinds of weather that they have in other parts of the world?  (A pre-made geography game is included in ECC.) 

 

3. Does your oldest child follow current events at his level at all?  If not, 5th grade is a great time to be introducing that to him.  MFW recommends signing up with God's World News, from which you get a, I think maybe quarterly? magazine explaining what's going on in the world from a Christian perspective at various age levels.  (You get a discount if you sign up through their website.)  Of course you could do this anytime, but it goes especially well with ECC. 

 

4. Pull up the lesson samples from both programs (ECC and CTG) from the website and print them off.  Read and compare them side-by-side so you can see what's done in each of the three core subjects: Bible, history/geography, and science.  (And note on the weekly grid samples and teacher notes how they also incorporate enrichment subjects.)  Better yet, grab a couple of the workshop CDs that they sell and listen to them to get a good feel and explanation of MFW's goals, philosophy, and methods to see WHY they do what they do, and how they do it.  Determine if it aligns with your family's goals at all.  MFW is a unit study, so all the content subjects are interwoven with each other based on the two subjects at the top: Bible and history/geography.  Including science.  http://www.mfwbooks.com/products/M50/105/0/0/1

 

 

I wouldn't say the science in MFW is "light", because it's about exposure at the younger ages, with more detail added for older children, just like in history and Bible.  Some people think it's light, but I suspect there are some moms who don't understand that builds on itself just like history does and is repeated more in-depth at each learning stage.  MFW has nature study/walks scheduled every week in ECC, and these are sometimes (not always) tied to either the animals or the earth science/land forms/climate that you're studying in science that week.

 

Yes, *I* would get a set of students sheets for my 1st grader because there are several sheets in there that he can either color or do something with right along with his older siblings.  My 1st grader would join the rest of us in the content subjects, even though I wouldn't make him do every single thing my 5th grader does.

 

Here's a link to a post I wrote one time explaining how the biblical themes progress from year to year in MFW... this might help you in your decision, too... particularly as it relates to the Charlotte Mason method.  http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4004#p66798

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...